This is Jer's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Jer's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Recent Activity
Yes. This must be the technology/ policy/ methodology that will make H2 a part of the vehicle mix - an at-home/ multi-residential installation that creates a parallel ecosystem completely separate from corporate station/ installation refuelling policies and pricing. With the near-death of the 'gas' station so will its arbitrary and gouging practices.
Of course, cost competitive with gasoline is a moving target - say US$3 a gallon?
Low- to zero-interest loans with easier-than-typical terms (including 90-day no-cost returns) and low credit quality may be the only way to get these systems out there for the middle three quintiles. Couple that with home installation (for EV fast charge systems) and guaranteed limited time offsite recharge rates at widespread stations and you are not only empowering the owner (some may say underwriting) you are establishing an ecosystem of work for Contractors and EV station developers. Finance the ecosystem not only the front line consumers - Tesla knows this.
It is appealing to believe that Saudi is playing an International Domination game - as mainstream media is clamouring for eyeballs. Don't believe it for a moment. They are actually acting in a very sensible and pro-economic (domestic) way. With oil prices low and refinement prices being driven down, now is the time to deleverage away from the huge subsidies granted to its citizens on fuel. With prices low, the incremental increases are small compared to $100 oil and the consequent huge price shock that would have to come if gas prices approached cost. With costs likely to bump around the $40 - $60 for the foreseeable future, the Saudis are weening their citizens off of a huge domestic budget expenditure, providing incentive to adjust businesses to a more realistic cost structure. The Saudis care not for international oil drama - it is now about diversification, market-driven pricing, and pushing an economy into modernity.
The first technology of H2 vs battery to enable: - a modern F-150 towing 12000 lbs with a payload of 3000 lbs while passing on a 2% up incline at 65 mph over a 600 mi range for $60 full charge over 7 years of 500 full charge cycles, starting up in the a.m. outside at 10F, for an overall vehicle cost less than $45k with a 5-yr full 'power storage system' replacement warrantee and a 60% recharge in 30 minutes based on an off-the-shelf home charge station ...will dominate the G7 countries new vehicle tech category. Batteries may have the lead in this benchmark, but H2 likely had the greatest potential, but for lack of development effort and money. Whatever, the answer, or hopefully both, it will need to occur before 2020. The money investment trajectory will need to plateau and its primary funders and lab/ developers will certainly have R&D fatigue by then - the result being the slow death of incremental ICE mileage increases and an ever en'small'ening vehicle chassis - a conclusion that most think is far less than ideal for a transportation diverse and productivity-directed socio-economic system(and the happiness of the normal red-blooded driver).
Funny how I have become a bit intolerant of long (500+ words) journalistic interviews which come across as sales pitches - despite how compelling this product/ service/ limited-time-offer is. I think this article could have been presented in 12-15 lines. Also, I think a bit more big picture commentary might be important: - how much withdraw (if it is a full withdraw rather than part of the hydro- cycle) would need to be made against oceans, salty aquifers, etc., and how would that affect other water industries, shorelines, water access, and - i guess.. the environment. - would this be treated as a utility rather than a private enterprise. It may be too important of a resource to leave it to pure market capitalist cost pressures (who else could compete?) - environmental and geological reviews? (more so land settlement and movement, than ecosystem modification) - with possible water availability which may return to the good old days of water abundance (if that ever existed), is it possible that land use modification and increased density may results in places not used to water availability (Utah, New Mexico, etc)? This could lead (which I am not saying is a bad thing) to more Los Angeles situations where a city was built without adequate local natural sources. Amusing if this innovation leads us from moderate water scarcity to moderate water abundance and the lifestyles of endless lawns, golf courses, and car washes that would result as far as the eye could see.
The problem with these indices is that the 'professionals' who develop them often have very little in-depth knowledge of the individual or trans-discipline nature of the topics they are trying to piece together - perhaps in hope of some action, however undertaken, is better than no action at all - the call of the mob. Small-system economics, urban ecology, sociology, urban design, and whatever 'sustainability falls under' are very conflicting, with a measure of success that is not transferrable between them. Take the utterly absurd word of 'sustainability', even with the marginally-more-useful descriptor of 'meet the needs of the present without sacrificing the ability of future generations to meet their own needs'. What does this mean? - conservation-based (use less, do less, be less)? techno-solution-based (solar, wind, non-GMO)? socio-economic-based (policies, programs)? These are very different and very conflicting - one cannot simply 'blend' them. Then there is green space and transit and bike lanes - very expensive to build, maintain, and plan - with a consistently negative return financially and questionable psychological benefit beyond having a low level and limited access to all - a type of service welfare - which I don't disagree with - but when does meeting the need extend into creating a separate 'culture' for it. Transit, bikes, and parks should be needs-based not culture-based. How often has income and productivity of a city spiked when the minimum level of transit access to everyone - buses at 16 hrs per day at 30min intervals - has been exceeded? never. How often has income, property value, and productivity spiked when subway access and car access (increased circulation and parking) has been increased? always. down side (if it could be defined that way) - gentrification. I would bet that if you modelled this graph 100% success on a new from-scratch city you would get Green-Disneyworld on day 1 (or a small Italian village overlooking the sea with no jobs) and Detroit 2011 on day 1, year 20. The basic problem is that the city one wants to live in on a daily basis does not lead to the city one wants to live in 20 years down the road - human nature conflict. The only way to define whether a city has improved is if the potential of its citizens to contribute has increased (and hopefully the number of those citizens) - that is by work, spend, and inhabit - everything else is welfare. A small park to have a coffee, walk your dog, and chat 30minutes a day for 5 days in a week less than 20 minutes walk away - yes. A billion dollar boardwalk or theme building that will never proportionately increase the tourism dollars to cover costs, but gives the city character - no. Tip to John Batten ARCADIS - design us your 100% city first, model all the scenarios over 20 years and get positive feedback from a 1000 experts from all walks of life - and then compare world cities to yours - i think you'll find a vastly different ranking and a real insight into 'true human-nature-style sustainability'. Not the current 'feel-good' fluff that currently passes for sustainability theory. We all want a diverse, intense, and safe world, but that needs to come from a population of people who are happy, challenged, and have productive milestones - sustainability will flow from that.
I do not believe it for a moment. An under-20 generation of ephemeral dreaming, untraveled naiveté, and simplism based on wikipedia articles and blog posts. Utterly without grit, duty, attention span, or self-driven motivation. A generation of incredible flexibility but no stability nor interest in personal property/commitment before the age of 35. The auto and work world ahead for them will be one of incredible desperation -or- surprising serendipity. On the chancy positive: With possible cheap electric cars and increased decentralization of power, data, and work, this generation may take their entrepreneurialism and all its empowerment on the road without boundaries, gathering income, experience, and networks everywhere. Families will be small, unstructured and based on tight-knit relationships only. Few will save for retirement or purchase property. This is the best possible of worlds for them. The contra-flip is a world of rebounded oil prices (> $120), expensive and limited EVs, trapped by lack of opportunity living at home, crushing environmental regulation, Baby boomers and X-gens working well into their 70s and 80s, confined in a world of fake digital experiences and near-useless $100k degrees and internet-post-secondary education. They are the lost generation with low incomes, disinterest in technology, consumerism, and innovation - they cling to a 60s culture of humanism and disenfranchised activism. An endless stream of right-wing politics and the rise of eastern europe and China means work and pay for the connected and influential (i.e. born before 1980) in the G7 only with little care for environmental or social development beyond 1st world self-interest. They will be healthy and bright, but contribute little. They may have strong communities - but it will be activist-driven rather than mutually-growth supported and driven. Society will continue to develop and enrich itself through baby-boomer and Gen-x interest primarily - focused on multi-vehicle and high-tech EVs/FCVs, city/country homes, and self-absorbed tech. The family business/corp and multi-generational home will strengthen and proliferate with concentrated wealth and increased inequity. But overall wealth and growth will still continue but within fewer persons and narrower life philosophies. Climate change will rage outside of the protected enclosures of those who chose to advance their societies to G7 levels by the 2040s. Climate change will only be a disadvantage to those few billion unable/unwilling to adapt. Though cheap decentralized electricity and google search engine results are available everywhere. The Gen-Zs and millennials will be very activist and be punished and limited in their influence, for it - for better or worse - in areas they thought less important - access to wealth and cities in which they can afford to live and work. A polarized world that will favour the connected and those that persevere - punishing the activist, anti-technology-ist, and non-planner. Vehicle miles will increase along with EV/FCV RVs, though total LDVs may stagnate. Electricity will plateau and decentralize somewhat. China will have top GDP per capita by mid-century with largest number of cars per capita and high-speed train track miles per capita at that time. With the lowest GHGs and pollution levels, China will be re-define political 'effectiveness', growth, and technological prowess. Unlike Japan, foreign millenials and Gen-Zers will find opportunity and cultural refuge in China's high tech planned society. This generation will find a technological, political, and socio-economic world unlike any other generation with less overall wealth but greater variety. Car makers would do well to focus on Baby boomers, Gen X-ers (many of who will inherit), Asia, and larger multi-purpose EV for the coming generation - hope Ford will see the truth before it needs to get bailed out in 2025.
Ok ToppaTom, let's argue for no good reason… To clarify my poorly worded statement: …"That being said, my personal feelings are to have cheap gas…" - Which means to have the lowest cost of oil per barrel, coupled with a competitive and low cost production and distribution system. Which means finding that sweet spot where NA and other relatively high price producers can all simultaneously flood the market with oil with their low price and utterly dysfunctional OPEC competitors - I would say that is $75-ish (Texas), i guess. That is my personal feelings - that will likely lead us to $2.50 gas. I am, in general, fine with the fracking craze that has swept and will continue to sweep non-traditional oil areas. Ubiquitous energy is the most important thing - this is what drives innovation and technology more than bright minds, VC money, and endless battery, fuel-cell, and bio-fuel labs - that is manufacturing and development and roll-out capacity (i.e. low energy costs). A funny irony, that increasing fossil fuel supply will likely speed their change-over to battery and hydrogen (maybe) economy faster and in a more equitable and far-reaching way. The most interesting question ofc ourse, is what price of oil maximizes the world economy -oil profit benefits played against reduced production due to high energy costs and subsidies - i haven't seen that spelled out. My first paragraph was meant to say what I would do if I was on the side of OPEC, with the intention of maximizing their profits and revenue - of course, it is what I am utterly disinterested in (directly anyway - it may happen coincidentally with other upswings in production.. who knows). I would never downplay the immense benefit to employment and economy that fracking has provided. All is fine in the world - except for this pile of winter that has dumped on me this past 5 days.
Truly distributed (i.e. non-centralized) would include small business and residential production - which would likely require a system that could intermittently produce and store from multiple inputs based on the user's criteria - cost, simultaneous use, and prevailing cost from utility grid. Local Solar/Wind + Local/Grid Bio + Grid Nat.Gas in any combination or proportion (i assume pure electrical grid input (even at cheapest kWh rates to be very cost-inefficient). Is there any evidence that the quality of H2 produce would vary with its use (i.e. vehicle FCV vs heat combustion vs energy storage only vs forklift,etc FCV)?
OPEC should increase production. NA producers will always blink first - better $65 oil for 3 months followed by $90 for a year and then up, rather than $75 for a year as NA producers try to hedge and diversify and batten down the hatches. OPEC needs to not only pause NA producers but crush them into more expensive revamp and shut-down procedures. Also, it may be a warm winter (despite early storms) reducing demand. Go for total victory or risk increased production, set-up, and investment in areas throughout and far beyond the US. That being said, my personal feelings are to have cheap gas, ubiquitous energy until we transform our economy, and OPEC disbanded and neutered - which would mean OPEC to cut production to avoid that.
Unfortunately, I do not believe that the economic drawbacks are as near-negligible from the mitigation listed. You'll find very few pure economists who have contributed, peer-reviewed, and been actively involved in this Study. Shame. That's probably the credibility (or exposure of its lack thereof) that was needed.
This is it. This is the everything that will be the push to bring great interest to H2 - home fuelling. Though it already exists as stand-alone and as part of a H2 house-wide system through Honda - for almost a decade. Even upscalable to multi-family residences and workplaces - better. Anything to destroy the monopoly of 'fuel' stations irrespective of what they dispense. I am not one for decentralization of anything - energy, power, water, whatever - but personal vehicle fuel (and its associated costs depending on what your sources and techniques are) is that one thing that will boost economic activity - dislocation of fuel costs from corporate and international interests. Cannot come soon enough.
Interesting. But a bit of a useless stat when such a huge portion of the world's population cannot afford a fully 'car-like' EV with reasonable range, size, and reliability. It would have been more interesting to see what percentage of EVs are purchased as compared to similar non-EVs in each price range - and also what percentage of EVs sell based on how many are for sale. We can best gauge success when people are actively 'choosing' EVs, not already precluded based on availability and affordability. If we say 2.4% of all cars are EV in 10 years and half are luxury, how many non-EV luxury cars will be sold.
Time to develop 400-mile all electric range in conjunction with Tesla's countrywide charging system, Winnebago. How much would that charger pack weigh on an RV?
Hydrogen makes sense for middle-class (family income $100k+) commuters, home-owners (most important demographic to start industry) because it provides for: - large and heavy vehicles in $40k+ range with 400+ miles and wide range of utility, sedan or p-up configs - home refueling, provided by gas, wind, or sun Less important: - saving the earth - available on cars less than $20k - fueling infrastructure in-city in commute area - fueling price less than current gas Who knows? - easy for individuals or station franchises to set-up along I-states? - easy for homeowners to set -up co-generation system for home refueling
Ahh China. Is there anything China will not, in the coming decade or two and beyond, accomplish better than the rest of the World? A model society with responsive and productive citizens all contributing to a techno-Utopia, mostly NIMBYism free and activist-lite. When will people learn that almost all problems are technical problems that require directed cooperation rather than redundant and self-defeating, wealth-concentrating competition? I see: By 2030, China will have the highest quantity, proportion of vehicles, and miles driven per capita for zero-emission vehicles in the world. By 2050, top GDP per capita, lowest carbon emissions per capita, highest number of patents per capita in energy tech, and highest speed and transit spots per capita in the world. This is what technology, however they obtained it ;) will do for you. By then, a planned society with more choice, opportunity, and wealth than so-called free nations. Give me a gilded cage with a small accessible door over a rusty-and-run-down wild-west american ranch, at that time, any day. I just hope that future Chinese products won't be so perfectly engineered, cost-effective, and ubiquitous that all current G7 countries' tech economies won't dry up and blow away.
Very un-optimistic, even cynical, forecast. I see it like this: G7 countries currently make-up nearly 15% of world pop, by 2035 probably 10%. The US has more than 4 cars for every 5 people, the rest of the G7, a bit less. If we take the 2B cars on the road in 2035, it may be reasonable to say that 2 out of 3 people in G7 have cars, while 1 in 4 everywhere else at that future time. I personally think that 1/2 cars in G7 will be PHEV/BEV/FCEV and say 1/8 everywhere else - that's my super-optimistic guess… that works out to be over 20% of all cars being in that category - a lot smaller than I thought. Even if we go nuts pessimistic and cling to the idea that ICE fuels will be only twice the price as now and tech will otherwise stall and so: say that only 1/5 G7 cars are PHEV/BEV/FCEV and 1/20 elsewhere, that is still over 8% of the total expected 2B cars on road. Not sure on the original assumptions, but the developing world can't possibly support that type of ICE infrastructure - how many barrels of oil per day is that? at that time? 25% more than now?
Until there are home-fueling H2 stations, FCEVs will be minor-minor (likely unprofitable) players.
Uninspired. Though this is China, so who knows? Electrical vehicles are not going to make a serious impact (10% increase in total vehicle penetration in any period of five years) until sellers are willing to completely introduce a new paradigm into autos as Tesla has. You need to introduce an electrical vehicle lifestyle that completely uproots everything that gas cars have wrought upon us - that is noise, pollution, centralized overpriced stations as monopoly, expensive car repairs, dealership collusion and anti-competitiveness, etc. Electrical cars must be a clean sweep and Tesla has done everything right except push out a sub $50k car - but soon. But as NJ has shown us, traditional methods of buying, repairing and re-fueling need to be re-examined and overthrown. Many estimates on total cost of car ownership for an electrical vehicle have been put at 30-50% of gas car ownership for vehicles typically found in the $35k+ classes over the next 5 years - that is initial cost, all fueling, all repairs, and residual value subtracted - this is a huge risk for car companies with so much already invested in gas vehicles and its associated infrastructure. Fueling costs through Tesla like free-fueling stations and home-fueling with reduced repair costs based on the tremendously simpler drive system will compensate for 'higher' initial costs. The comparatively major unknown though is battery reliability, raw material availability, and long-term performance. With the costs of car usage plunging for the first time in decades, a true renaissance in personal travel should emerge toward 2020, but this thing that Volkswagen is doing is unlikely to contribute to that too much. Tesla needs to push China and now.
I am not sure what all the drama and sentimentality is all about. Get the oil out of that area and clean it up as soon as possible. So a small piece of nature is taken out of service for a few generations, so what? Improve the world's GDP, which enables technology, which solves GHG in a fully technological, highly efficient, pro-science, non-dirty-hippy-type way. All else is retreat into a world of reduced productivity, diminished wealth, lowered technological implementation across all sectors, severely increased energy costs, reduced standard of living for all first world nations, and absolutely minimal improvement for the health and well-being of developing ones. Consumerism and technological improvement is only fostered by cheap, abundant, and accessible energy. Its a crying shame and facilitating technology this way will get us past this 'dirty' century. It is a necessary evil. If the oil sands was not financially feasible, it wouldn't be there. If other solutions were available to empower manufacturing and services growth at these cost points, it would happen that way. We need a solid 2% GDP growth across all first world countries and 4+% GDP growth in all others for the foreseeable future to facilitate education, health, and well-being throughout. This is the way of peace, prosperity, and common purpose. It is crazy, ridiculous system, but for a world of likely close to 10B at mid-century that deserve to live in solid, sustainable communities at lower-middle-class Europeans levels, this type of economic growth stimulation is absolutely essential. There is not enough 'goodness' and discipline in people to do it the non-capitalist, communal and planned way as it should be. To think otherwise is to embrace the 13-year-old, simplistic, hyper-idealistic teenager world-view. Get it built. Get it done. Get it cleaned up and get it out!
Shame. Witness the birth of the new under-performing, under-contributing, under-productive transit- and personal-power- dependent class. I certainly don't want to be on the road with those who only rent a car a few times a year - you lose your safety street awareness and intuition very quickly. Small-group (not public) sharing plans are becoming more popular - where you know all users - often through work, extended family, special groups, etc.
I think that the conclusions drawn from the data are a bit simple and seem to have a 'leaning' to them. For example: reallocating resources away from car infrastructure (parking, residential parking capacity (zoning minimum parking), roadway repairs and upgrades, new arteries and optimized urban routes) to collective transportation systems is a blunt, big picture approach that we need to stop using. Saying that less people are using cars means we need to shift away from their support is like saying more people are becoming obese and eating poorly, we need to shift toward a pro-fast food culture. We need to shift towards people's 'productive' wants and needs, not their possibly desired or desperate short or long term behaviour trends. We need to be more sophisticated than that. Much (but not all) of the data suggests that cars are a very important part of people's weekly if not everyday lives and we need to accept a multi-modal investment. What the data never seems to suggest is the increased productivity, wealth-generation, and economic growth potential of car users, car infrastructure, and a lifestyle which includes cars. These studies always seem to neglect personal and society-level economics and prosperity in their research. The ideal case is for everyone to purchase, maintain, and park a car but reduce use for everyday, regular commuting, and single-occupant purposes. The bottom line is that a family (however you define that, 1-7+ persons) is almost always more productive, flexible, and versatile with a car that is owned and immediately available, which usually translates to increased worth, quality of life, and self-actualization. The economy directly benefits and therefore can increase outlays to less productive (but vital) elements - environment, health, and social well-being. There doesn't seem to be any evidence that a highly-focussed transit culture increases overall incomes, job opportunities, consumption, technology take-up, overnight social events, away-from-home vacationing, home ownership, or other elements that many economists identify with a growing economy. All urban (non-rural) centres should have local and commuter, widespread, high-speed, high capacity, 24-7 transit systems, but ironically that is often only facilitated by a large tax base and moderate to high income residents, which is primarily made-up of highly educated, mobile, and productive citizens - almost exclusively those who have (but may not always use) cars. Need more transit? Don't neglect car culture and the wealthy taxpayers who are a vital component of that group - funny how it works that way.
Interesting. With increasing capacity and decreasing cost many temporary, short-term, and emergency power systems may go whole battery - cost, availability, rare material substitute? What new power systems get replaced? EV cars get short-shrifted?
If charging per mile costs are significantly cheaper than gas - 50% or less, I think that you'll find some interesting market- and community changes... - electro-looting - plugging into a neighbour's or unauthorized work/public receptacle. - electro-marketing - letting neighbours/customers plug into your outlet for a price - often creating mini-markets in a neighbourhood - electro-parking - parking lots expressly made for EVs with special privileges - electro-benefits - maybe no dental or defined pension at your work but hey, full charge-ups on workdays/ new/used house sale or desperate landlord installs dedicated chargers as upgrade/feature - electro-VIP - malls, parks, public buildings use charger stalls as preferential close-up or sheltered parking as a service/ token 'green upgrade' - electro-regulation - HOV lanes nothing - you want PEV uptake? dedicated lanes, parking spots, charging areas, portion of all new buildings, anything lifestyle upgrade will push it... - electro-swarming - suddenly in 2030 we start to see a trend that number of cars on roads increase, total miles increase, miles per car increases, cars per family increase, electified-exurbias increase, worst congestion ever/ transit use decreases... pro-car urban design, pro-car inter-state upgrades, - if batteries give us 300miles and/or 600miles total on an extender for <$35k... careful what you wish for... (not that I have anything against a 70s/80s level of car use again)